Archive | Volkswagen

21 February 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Parsimonious economy, performance, practicality – new Golf GTD breaks cover

2013 Volkswagen Golf GTD

Just as the first UK deliveries of the Mk 7 Golf are filtering through, Volkswagen has today announced details of the new performance-orientated Golf GTD, the derv-sipping cousin of the Golf GTI. It’s a whole three decades since the nameplate was first introduced, and the latest version builds on the parsimonious, performance, and practical foundations that the original Mk 1 version set. The Mk 7 Golf GTD is powered, once again, by a 2.0-litre common-rail turbodiesel engine, with 182bhp and 380Nm (280lb ft) of torque, available from just 1750rpm.

The six-speed Golf GTD is reputedly able to drive 67.3 miles per gallon of fuel, and has emissions of 109g/km – when specified with the optional six-speed DSG gearbox, emissions rise by 10g/km and fuel economy dips to 60.1mpg, still more than respectable for a performance hatchback. Living up to its ethos, the 1309kg Golf GTD takes 7.5 seconds to reach 62mph from rest, and can reach 142mph.

Standard kit is what you’d expect a sporting Golf to have – 17-inch alloy wheels fitted with 225/45 tyres, side skirts, more aggressive front and rear bumpers (the rear including a diffuser), sports suspension, smoked LED tail lights and a larger-than-standard rear spoiler. Moving inside, there are the now obligatory tartan sports seats, a black rooflining, sports steering wheel, stainless steel pedals, and GTD-specific gear knob and trim strips. There’s also now a touch of bling, with white ‘ambience lighting’, while high-end equipment includes climate control, parking sensors and a winter pack.

Available in Germany for €29,350, the new Golf GTD is available to order from 5 March, with UK sales expected to start in April. Deliveries are said to start in the summer, with UK prices and exact specification to be confirmed. Proving how important a model the GTD now is, Volkswagen has unveiled it before the latest iteration of the GTI, and will be debuting the new GTD at the 2013 Geneva motor show next month.

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12 February 2013 ~ 2 Comments

CrossUp to star at Geneva motor show; ‘Cheer Up’ special edition launched

2013 Volkswagen CrossUp

Volkswagen has, predictably, announced a ‘Cross’ version of its award-winning Up city car. To be launched at the 83rd Geneva motor show next month, the CrossUp (we’re still not pandering to the silly punctuation) joins the established CrossPolo, CrossGolf and CrossTouran models. A European market-only model at the moment, UK availability is yet to be decided, reportedly currently thought to be 50/50. Volkswagen UK had sold limited examples of the CrossPolo and CrossGolf in this country (badged ‘Dune’), but we would imagine that the market is just too small for such a niche model, especially as it lacks four-wheel drive, a feature the new Fiat Panda 4×4 does have.

Whatever the UK market decision, the CrossUp looks the part. It gets the mandatory black plastic mouldings for the wheel arches and sills, as well as ‘CrossUp’-branded side strips. There’s also silver roof rails, wing mirrors, and bumper insets, front fog lights, a raised ride height (Volkswagen doesn’t state by how much), and 16-inch ‘Cross’ alloy wheels with 185/50 tyres. The interior isn’t as ‘Crossed’ up as much as the exterior, which a choice of red or anthracite trim, black, red or silver dashpad, and leather-trimmed steering wheel and handbrake lever. Door sill trims also get ‘Cross Up’ branding.

Standard equipment includes remote central locking, electric front windows and door mirrors, variable cargo floor, multifunction display, and ESC electronic stability programme. Powered by the higher output 74bhp, 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual gearbox used in other Ups, the CrossUp will be available in Germany from late summer, with a starting price of €13,925, which equates to £11,982 at current exchange rates. Although not up to traversing large European mountain ranges, the smart CrossUp might just be the thing for scampering across very wet grass or scooting around the city.

As well as the CrossUp, Volkswagen has also announced a more imminent special edition, and we had to check the calendar to make sure it wasn’t 1 April. The Cheer Up (we kid you not) closely resembles the range-topping High Up with its anthracite-coloured multi-spoke alloy wheels. To lift your heart, it also features ‘Galvano’ (no we don’t know either) Grey door mirror casings, chrome-trimmed front fog lights, ‘uniquely’-trimmed seats, and RCD 215 CD/MP3 player. Engines are the usual 1.0-litre 59 and 74bhp petrol three-cylinders, while the Eco Up’s 67bhp natural gas-powered unit is also available. Prices start at €11,825 – a saving of €895 over a similarly-equipped standard model. Those crazy Germans!

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07 February 2013 ~ 0 Comments

‘Yellow/Black Racer’-inspired Beetle GSR unveiled at Chicago Auto Show

2013 Volkswagen Beetle GSR

The name ‘Yellow/Black Racer’ should mean something to any Volkswagen enthusiast. Although we’re undeniably Polo fans here at, we’re proper Volkswagen enthusiasts, too, and so were intrigued when news of the Beetle GSR came in, as it is allegedly inspired by a ‘legendary’ variation of the original Beetle. Launched in 1973, the 48bhp ‘Yellow/Black Racer’ (or ‘Gelb/Schwarzer/Renner‘, hence GSR) was based on the 1303 S Beetle, and was only available in a yellow and black colour scheme, with the bonnet, bootlid and external trim painted matt black.

Inspired by the 40th anniversary of one of the sportiest original Type 1s, Volkswagen has today announced the Beetle GSR at the Chicago Auto Show. Like its predecessor, the Beetle GSR will be the sportiest Beetle in the current range. Limited to 3500 units, only 100 are earmarked for the UK, with deliveries expected in the autumn. Powered by the outgoing Golf GTI’s 208bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre engine, the 2013 Beetle GSR updates the 1973 GSR’s look by having not only a black bonnet and hatchback, but also a darkened roof and exterior mirrors. There’s even special ‘GSR’ decals along the side of the car, to leave fellow road users in no doubt as to what you’re driving.

Black ‘Tornado’ 19-inch alloy wheels are four inches larger than the Yellow/Black Racer’s, while the 2013 Beetle GSR’s boasts R-Line sports seats, a sports steering wheel, an R-Line dash pad, a GSR gear knob and metres of contrasting yellow stitching. A far cry from the token sports steering wheel and sports seats of the 1973 original car. The new version even has a numbered edition plaque and can be ordered with either a six-speed manual or DSG gearbox. Top speed is 142mph; 0-62mph takes 7.3 seconds. If the yellow paint is too loud for you, then Platinum Grey and Black can also be specified, but really, why would you? UK pricing and availability have yet to be confirmed.

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22 October 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Taigun concept and Novo Gol debut at São Paulo motor show

2012 Volkswagen Taigun concept

Generally, we’re not big fans of SUVs at PoloDriver, which is why we were surprised and excite at the idea of the Taigun, Volkswagen’s latest sports utility offering, unveiled at the São Paulo motor show today. Officially a concept, and previewing the look of a small SUV based on the platform of the award-winning Up platform, it looks fantastic with its wide front grille and blistered wheelarches. We thought it was much larger than its city car underpinnings suggest, and although the profile and door apertures suggest a three-door body, the rear door handles are hidden in the C-pillar, riding on the wave of recent launches such as the new Renault Clio.

The Taigun is 3.86m long and 1.73m wide, but has a generous 2.47m wheelbase. Its powered by the forthcoming Up GT’s three-cylinder turbocharged 1.0-litre engine, developing 109bhp @ 5000rpm (129lb ft/175Nm of torque) and is front-wheel drive, transferring power via a six-speed manual gearbox. Weight is commendably low at 985kg and does wonders for the fuel economy, which is rated at 60.1mpg on the combined cycle. Performance from the newly-developed triple is more than adequate: 0-62mph comes up in 9.2 seconds, while the Taigun has a 115mph top speed.

The handsome looks of the Brazilian debutant are clearly based on the larger Tiguan and Touareg, but with injections of new sharp-edged Volkswagen DNA. And with bright colours suiting it best, we really do think it should enter production as it is. The high-tech and minimal cabin would change of course, but features air vent controls for direction of air flow, blower speed and temperature, as well as smartphone integration and auxiliary gauges.

Also unveiled in São Paulo was the three-door version of the Gol, a car which sits inbetween the Polo and Golf in size. Brazil’s best-selling car for the past 25 years, it may not be as glitzy as the Taigun, but it is much more significant, selling seven million examples. It’s a good-looking, if slightly bland car, but blends element of the current Polo up front and at the rear, with shades of the Audi A1 in profile. And as for the A- (windscreen) pillar and front wing joins – they are pure Mk 2 Polo!

The official line is that Volkswagen will be ‘monitoring public reaction to the Taigun before taking a decision on whether to put this vehicle into production’, but we wouldn’t be at all surprised, if, like the Mk 7 Golf GTI concept shown at the Paris motor show, the junior SUV hits urban landscapes soon. With rumours of a MQB-platform Polo SUV abound and due for launch in 2014, could the Taigun provide us with a clue as to how it looks?

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28 September 2012 ~ 3 Comments

Volkswagen confirms Up GT for production in 2013

Autocar reports that the Volkswagen Up GT will – finally – become a production reality next year. Volkswagen Research & Design chief Ulrich Hackenberg confirmed the arrival of the sports-orientated city car at the 2012 Paris motor show. Accompanying the standard Up’s launch at the Frankfurt motor show last year, the Up GT will be powered by a 999cc, 109bhp three-cylinder engine with 120lb ft of torque.

A six-speed gearbox will also feature, as well as lowered suspension, alloy wheels, an aggressively-styled body kit, tartan seats and a part-leather-trimmed cabin. Prices and exact specifications have yet to be announced. Many hope the Up GT will be a modern incarnation of the Lupo GTI, Volkswagen’s last pint-sized hot hatchback, produced between 2000-2006 and powered by a 1.6-litre, 125bhp engine.

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